ACAN’s Natural Materials Business Survey

To support preparing a response for EAC’s ‘Sustainability in the built environment‘ inquiry, ACAN have prepared a quick-fire survey of businesses working in the natural materials industry. The intention is to quickly gather some fresh evidence and insights for solutions and actions the government can take to support businesses working with natural materials – producers, suppliers, designers, builders, manufacturers etc.

They would like to gather as many responses as possible so please share as far and wide as you can!

Deadline for responses is midday Wednesday 12 May.

We only have a week, so we’re hoping to use this as a launch pad for future research, rather than it being finished once the survey ends.

Survey link

Thank you!

Green Solutions Award 2021 – Vote for ‘The Bale House’!

🏆 The Bale House 🇬🇧
Located in a UK Nature Reserve in Hastings this constructed with recycled, fireproof, and breathable materials. A unique straw bale building that requires next to no energy to run and stays comfortable all year long due to its high insulation.

This UPSTRAW Project uses natural materials such as lime, wood and especially straw in the walls which sequesters carbon, creates new links between the agricultural and construction industries, and, enhances the value of the farmer’s crop.

This case study offers lessons on dealing with risk posed by excessive wind speeds on the site, and on how to build a successful conStrawtium! Green & Castle Huff and Puff Constructions

See more about this Green Solutions Awards 2020-21 candidate, and Vote here: https://bit.ly/3sJDI75

bale house

Wow! Check out at the latest video update of the ‘Bale House’ by the Constrawtium team!

is there enough straw to build with?

John Butler has been digging away in the vaults of Government data and statistics to ascertain the answer to one of the most often asked questions we receive, “Is there enough straw to build”?

The figures are interestingly optimistic (we shan’t spoilt it for you!).

Dig in and sift through this very vital piece of work

UPSTRAW Yearbook 2020

The UPSTRAW Yearbook 2020 is now released.

Starting in 2017, this project is a collaboration between European countries (Belgium, France, Germany Netherlands and Hastings – UK) via INTERREG, with the theme of ‘public investment in straw building’ – including five new public buildings built using straw and other natural materials.

Other project outcomes covered in this Yearbook include:

  • Building Information Modelling: improving the production and management of digital information in construction
  • Zotero library: more than 400 publications dedicated to building with straw
  • Massive Open Online Course: a brand new MOOC to help you learn more about straw building
  • Life Cycle Analysis: a cradle to grave approach, which quantifies the environmental impact of construction
  • National Networks: showing the straw bale associations and networks in each partner country

We hope you enjoy this publication and encourage you to forward it to your colleagues and others in your networks. UPSTRAW Yearbook 2020

Women in Construction – International Women Day

Three fantastic women, 3 leaders of industry.

As founding members of Strawbale UK these women have been with us from the start and today are as integral to our vision: Mary Rawlinson, SBUK Chair, Green and Castle & Constrawtium, Barbara Jones of Straw Works, Eileen Sutherland School of Natural Building

UP STRAW Zotero database

Great news!

The partners of UP STRAW have collated, through the ‘Zoreto’ platform, an open source database of free reference management tools that allows the user to manage bibliographical data and documents such as websites, videos, scientific articles, books and PDFs.

This will cover the regulatory aspects, construction techniques, technical and environmental performance, fire security and acoustics and scientific publications of building with Strawbales or Straw panels from around the world.

Enjoy your search here

Rising Damp

This is not a homage to the popular British sitcom, but a brilliantly sharp (and witty!) conversation with Ben Kerslake of Carrington Lime and Jeffrey Hart’s Building Sustainability Podcast

Through his initial foray as a roofer, to the lessons learnt as a lime plasterer, we hear how Ben has honed his craft as a tradesman and, diligently educates as a course tutor.

Listen, learn and enjoy: Treating damp with Lime Plaster – Ben Kerslake – BS042

Holy Trinity’s Airtightness testing

Airtightness testing

Last year, SBUK member Dr Judith Thornton wrote a paper on Airtightness, of which we referenced here: https://strawbalebuildinguk.com/airtightness-and-natural-building-materials-by-judith-thornton

Richard Dormandy has now made short videos in which he too refers to Airtightness on his group’s Holy Trinity Tulse Hill Straw Bale build.

What does Airtightness mean and how does it affect the performance of your building?

Watch all of The Holy Trinity videos here

THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF CONSTRUCTION

A network of architects and built environment professionals met tonight to see the unveiling of The Carbon Footprint Of Construction.

Led by ACAN – Architects Climate Action Network – over 300 delegates participated in tonight’s launch, listening to expert Speakers and colloborating in workshop/Breakout rooms.

If you want to help to decarbonise the construction sector, here is what you can do:

  1. Read the Report
  2. Sign the petition
  3. Send the Briefing Report to your MP